Stories and updates from the people and projects of CIP Sub-Saharan Africa – Newsletter Vol. 3, No 3 – November 2014
A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words
The CIP sub-Saharan Africa regional image database is a great way to see what our staff, field workers and partners are up to. See a collection of colorful photos from the recent 5th Annual Technical Meeting for the Sweetpotato for Profit and Health Initiative (SPHI) and images from a CIP research project working to improve potato yields for farmers in the Usambara Highlands in Lushoto, Tanzania.
CIP on Facebook & Twitter
The social media team at CIP is always looking for potato & sweetpotato material – newspaper articles, academic articles, images, videos, interviews. So next time you read an interesting article about potato breeding, or come across a great sweetpotato recipe, or find a video about nutrition in East Africa on youtube – please let us know. Join CIP on Facebook and Twitter and please submit information to Sara Quinn, CIP SSA Communications Specialist at email@example.com
Celebrating Five Years of Progress in Sweetpotato Research for Development in Sub-Saharan Africa
CIP Director General Barbara Wells, who attended the meeting, announced: “Today I recommit CIP toward enabling at least 15 million households to improve the quality of their diets and raise their crop incomes over the next 10 years in countries with micronutrient deficiencies. We will reach this goal by increasing the production and utilization of nutritious sweetpotato, starting with biofortified OFSP.”
The SPHI ‘Through the lens of a camera’ photo contest was held as part of the 3 day conference. 14 CIP staff and 13 participants from other organizations submitted a total of 165 photographs. The winning photographs were announced on the last day of the SPHI conference. The winning photographs can be viewed here. Congratulations to all the winners and asante sana to everyone who entered!
Improving Potato Yields for farmers in Tanzania’s Usumbara Highlands
View the audio slideshow about the project here.
A story about this project was published in the latest CCAFS newsletter, The SmartAG Partner, and you can read the full article here.
The New Dawn for Potato Documentary
You can watch the video here.
The Ladies of Kibati
Helping Aspiring Potato Farmers in Kenya’s Kirinyaga County
For the full story, please click here.
New Orange-Fleshed Sweetpotato for Africa Catalogue Launched
Insights from the Field
Experimental Biology Conference in San Diego, California
Jumpstarting OFSP in West Africa
Micronutrient deficiency is a serious public health problem in many developing countries, but unlike wasting, it is often difficult to recognize and thus referred to as ‘hidden hunger’. Ghana, Nigeria and Burkina Faso are no exception. Orange-fleshed sweetpotato (OFSP) has the potential to provide a rich dietary source of vitamin A that can significantly reduce VAD among vulnerable populations (particularly young children and lactating mothers) at the community level.
The team wants demand for OFSP to be market-led in West Africa, both in areas where the crop is currently important (but OFSP is not), and in areas where sweetpotato is not particularly important, but where it has the potential to be.
CIP has a strong team in West Africa to help Jumpstarting OFSP work through diversified markets. That team recently expanded as Erna Abidin transferred from Malawi to Ghana, where she will work as Regional Seed Specialist and Project Manager, and Justus Lotade-Maje, M&E Specialist, moved to Nigeria following a brief period of orientation in Rwanda. Olapeju Phorbee, Project Leader of the Sweetpotato for Health and Wealth project, and Ted Carey, Regional Sweetpotato Breeder and Leader of the Jumpstarting OFSP project, on a visit to pilot sites in Osun and Kwara States in Nigeria, and to conduct an Actor-Centered Theory of Change workshop with key partners in order to arrive at a shared vision for the projects in Osun and Kwara.
Prior to the workshop, the team paid a visit to the Deputy Governor of Osun State, who is responsible for the state’s Omeals Homegrown School Feeding Program, which feeds over 250,000 primary school children daily. The team was elated to receive the enthusiastic support of the state government, and will now work with partners to ensure the successful adoption of OFSP in the school lunch menu.
The team is working towards four major objectives at each target location: 1) identification of markets, 2) organization of farmer groups to serve those markets, 3) development of commercial seed systems to serve the farmers, and 4) increased consumption of OFSP and other vitamin A-rich foods by vulnerable target populations, particularly women and children under the age of five.
Read more about the project here.
Robert Mwanga, Sweetpotato Pioneer
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Sub-Saharan Africa Regional Office
PO Box 25171
Nairobi 00603, Kenya
International Potato Center (CIP)
Apartado 1558, Lima 12, Peru